Wendy Royal



Editor and Publisher



Editor, Engle Printing and Publishing Co., Inc. Wendy Royal was nominated by a coworker, who said, “Under the direction of editor Wendy Royal, the newspaper not only survived during the pandemic, but it thrived. Local events are the heartbeat of our newspapers, and when the pandemic shut everything down, it could have put an end to the publication. With out-of-the-box thinking and guidance, Wendy helped her writers continue to produce quality local news each week. She truly cares about the community and her staff. She believes in the value of a small-town newspaper, knowing it’s where people see their friends and neighbors in the news, learn about nonprofits doing important work and find fun activities to participate in with their families. Wendy is open to new ideas, can pivot when the circumstances require it, and always encourages her staff. … We focus on the positive things happening in our community and tell the stories of people making a difference. With Wendy at the helm, it’s easier than ever to do that.” What advice do you have for other young professionals who aspire to become an editor extraordinaire? First, be willing to serve. Realize that the job is not about you but the people in the communities you serve. Second, don’t be afraid to fail. If you are, you’ll never take a risk; you’ll never propose that idea you have because it’s on you if it doesn’t work. Remember that failure is part of your journey and your success. And, finally, don’t be controlled by your title. If you see a need and you can contribute positively, offer to help out. Managers will remember both an “it’s not in my job description” and a “how can I help?” attitude. The difference is that one may help propel you, and the other will not. Why should investigative journalism be important to local news publications? It is absolutely imperative for the public to have access to investigative journalism in local newspapers. Communities are best served when journalists hold those in power accountable. When investigative reporting goes away, so do the freedoms we hold so dearly.